A new railway project kicked off in Herat province of Afghanistan
The Press Office of the Governor of Herat has announced that the Province has started working on the technical and economic studies of the Herat-Torghondi railway. The Governor of Herat, Mr Asif Rahimi, said that this railway project is extremely important for the export of Afghan products in the markets of neighboring countries, and can play a crucial role in the economic development of the country. The Minister of Public Works of Afghanistan, Mr Mahmoud Baligh, said the the railway would form part of the Lapis Lazuli Route, a proposed trade corridor linking Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Europe, supporting ambitions for Afghanistan to become a regional transport hub. ‘We have to develop the railway network to reach major economic powers’, said Minister Baligh, adding that this would support economic growth and help to increase domestic revenues. The preparation of the studies was assigned to the Canadian consulting firm CANARAIL which operates in Afghanistan along with Appleton Consulting Inc. (ACI), an international business consulting company that focuses on enabling business solutions for emerging and developing market sectors. On April 5 2016 has been signed to this effect a contract for an amount of approximately USD 1.6 million between CANARAIL and the Ministry of Public Works of Afghanistan. The total length of the railway is about 200 kilometers.